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Barclay's Recap: Martin Laird Crumbles as Matt Kuchar Soars to Victory

Matt Kuchar stood tall Sunday after his 5-under par 66 and persevered through the pressure-filled playoff against Martin Laird to earn his first victory of 2010.
Matt Kuchar stood tall Sunday after his 5-under par 66 and persevered through the pressure-filled playoff against Martin Laird to earn his first victory of 2010.Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Will LeivenbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2010

Martin Laird may have led the field in putting all week, but he looked like a fish out of water as he three-putted his 18th hole to bogey and forced a playoff with Matt Kuchar at the first Fed-Ex Cup playoff event, the Barclay's.

In what is being considered one of the best shots of the 2010 PGA Tour season, Matt Kuchar struck a remarkable 7-iron from 182-yards in deep rough, which after catching the up-slope of the undulated green rolled to within two feet of the hole, solidified Kuchar's first victory of the season.

Matt Kuchar shot four rounds in the 60's at the Barclay's, highlighted by his superb 5-under 66 in his final round. Undoubtedly one of the most gifted players on Tour right now, Kuchar has become a blueprint for consistency carding nine top-10 finishes, including a T-6 at the US Open.

This loss may sting Martin Laird for weeks to come, but truthfully, he buckled under the pressure. Laird birdied his 17th hole after a miraculous 3-wood into the par-5, which solidified a one shot lead and his victory appeared imminent. 

But after hitting a wayward tee shot on the 18th, Laird looked lost on the green, ultimately leading to a gut-wrenching three-putt and eventual loss in the playoff.

Two weeks ago, Steve Stricker was predicted to win the PGA Championship, but disappointed his hometown crowds with an underwhelming T-18 finish. However, Stricker brought his A-game this weekend at the Barclay's, shooting 68-66 to finish T-3.

Kevin Streelman nonchalantly posted an 8-under par 63 in his second round, leaving golf fans in shock after blistering through Ridgewood Country Club. After shooting an even-par third round, Streelman found his rhythm with the flatstick Sunday, draining putts like it was his job en route to a 4-under 67 and T-3 finish.

Jason Day, the young Australian who earned his first PGA Tour victory at this year's Byron Nelson Championship, had tremendous momentum entering his final round after three consecutive under-par rounds. Day failed to produce Sunday, shooting a 1-over par 72, but recorded his fourth top-10 of the season at the Barclay's with a T-5 finish.

Tiger Woods' sensational 6-under par opening round at the Barclay's was an uplifting sign of progress, but was followed by mediocre second and third over-par rounds that essentially eliminated his potential to win. His 4-under par 67 in the final round sealed a solid top-20 finish and will definitely generate some momentum for next week's Deutsche Bank Championship.

Rory Sabbatini stormed out of the gates Sunday and shot a 7-under par 64 for the round of the day.

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